Unreal Words

FIRST GROUP

 

1 runcible

a) having two prongs

b) can be squashed

c) a bishop's garment

 

2 thorax

a) part of the human body enclosed by the ribs

b) an instrument used to clearing snow

c) a type of disinfectant.

 

3 struthious

a) very cautious

b) arrogant

c) like an ostrich

 

4 discombobulate

a) to stop something bouncing up and down

b) to take one's hat off

c) to confuse

 

5 sweetmeat

a) a cake, pastry or other sweetened dessert

b) a type of pickled pork

c) a pleasant encounter with a friend

 

6 mandible

a) can be manipulated by hand

b) the grasping claw of an insect

c) the lower bone of your jaw

 

7 rendible

a) of material: can be torn apart

b) of an account: must be paid

c) of the voice: husky or crackly

 

8 emporium

a) relating to an empire

b) a large shop

c) a cavity or space within a bone

 

9 pandemic

a) in zoology, relating to pandas

b) another word for pandemonium

c) of a disease, affecting people over a wide area

 

10 friable

a) can be fried in a pan

b) can be broken up or crumbled

c) can be upset or worried

 

The answers are down below. Please do not look at them until you really have to!

 

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Answers

 

FIRST GROUP

 

1 runcible

a) is almost correct but the word is a nonsense word. A ‘runcible spoon’ has two broad prongs and one curved prong. The term was invented by Edward Lear. If you have never read his limericks or nonsense poems, look for them in your library!

 

2 thorax

a) is correct. It also applies to the part of an insect's body which has the legs and wings.

 

3 struthious

c) is a real word meaning relating to or resembling an ostrich. I like this word, because if someone is being difficult I can tell them, ‘You’re being struthious!’

 

4 discombobulate

c) to confuse is correct. It is a twentieth century word, i.e., a new word, used mainly in Canada and the USA.

 

5 sweetmeat

a) is correct. It is an old word, not used nowadays, for something sweet or sugary you eat at the end of a meal for dessert.

 

6 mandible

c) the lower jawbone. The same word is used for either of a pair of mouth parts in an insect, but not for a grasping claw.

 

7 rendible

I just invented that word. It doesn't exist. It looks real, doesn’t it?

 

8 emporium

b) a large shop offering a wide variety of goods. It’s an old fashioned word but is still used by some companies.

 

9 pandemic

c) is correct. It is an adjective used in relation to a disease which has spread over a wide geographical area. A more common word, epidemic, refers to a disease which has spread through a community.

 

10 friable

b) is correct. Something which is friable is easily broken up or crumbled.

 

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